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Langvad takes impressive win

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The Orange Monkey-Cannondale team trains in Cyprus before the Voroklini opening round of the Sunshine Cup.

The Orange Monkey-Cannondale team trains in Cyprus before the Voroklini opening round of the Sunshine Cup. (Image credit: Orange Monkey Pro Cycling Team)
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Later in the race the field was strung out...

Later in the race the field was strung out... (Image credit: Jan Nemec)
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Riders jostle for position soon after the start.

Riders jostle for position soon after the start. (Image credit: Jan Nemec)
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The elite men's podium (l-r): Periklis Ilias, Emil Lindgren, Karl Markt, Fabian Giger and Kevin Van Hoovels.

The elite men's podium (l-r): Periklis Ilias, Emil Lindgren, Karl Markt, Fabian Giger and Kevin Van Hoovels. (Image credit: Armin Kuestenbrueck)
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Jukka Vastaranta (Milka-Trek).

Jukka Vastaranta (Milka-Trek). (Image credit: Armin Kuestenbrueck)
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Emil Lindgren (Rabobank Giant Offroad Team).

Emil Lindgren (Rabobank Giant Offroad Team). (Image credit: Jan Nemec)
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Stefan Sahm (Team Bulls).

Stefan Sahm (Team Bulls). (Image credit: Jan Nemec)
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The start of the elite men's race at the opening round of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup.

The start of the elite men's race at the opening round of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup. (Image credit: Orange Monkey Pro Cycling Team)
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Paul Beales (Orange Monkey / Cannondale) races on the singletrack at Voroklini.

Paul Beales (Orange Monkey / Cannondale) races on the singletrack at Voroklini. (Image credit: Orange Monkey Pro Cycling Team)
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Austrian Karl Markt (Felt Otztal X-Bionic) celebrates his win.

Austrian Karl Markt (Felt Otztal X-Bionic) celebrates his win. (Image credit: Felt Ötztal X-Bionic World Cup Team)
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Blaza Klemencic (Felt Otztal X-Bionic) on the podium in second place.

Blaza Klemencic (Felt Otztal X-Bionic) on the podium in second place. (Image credit: Felt Ötztal X-Bionic World Cup Team)

Annika Langvad (Easton Rockets) and Karl Markt (Felt Ötztal X-Bionic) won the European cross country mountain bike season opener at round one of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup in Voroklini on Sunday. Langvad of Denmark won ahead of Slovenian Blaza Klemencic (Felt Ötztal X-Bionic) and compatriot Kristine Norgaard (HMTBK). Markt of Austria finished ahead of Swede Emil Lindgren and Swiss Fabian Giger (both Rabobank Giant).

On a nice, sunny day, Langvad was racing in her own league. As the defending Cyprus Sunshine Cup champion, she wasn't bothered by her contenders and set off the front soon after the start loop. Former marathon champion Klemencic accompanied her initially.

Then, on every one of the first four of five laps, Langvad gained time, adding about one minute per lap to her lead over Klemencic. On the final lap, she took it a bit easier and crossed the line in 1:45:39.

"I didn't change my winter preparation, and I cannot understand why it works like this," said Langvad. "But that shows me that I still can improve as a rider. I'm just happy with this start of the year."

Klemencic crossed the line with a comfortable second place at 5:06. Norgaard finished the 32km race in third place, a further 4:04 back. The Danish marathon specialist was racing her first cross country event abroad and was suprised at her result.

"Annika was too strong, I had no chance to stay with her," said Klemencic. "I was riding with a full suspension bike and could go very fast on the downhills. But in the uphills, I was not so fast, and Annika got away. But to be on the podium at the first race is always good."

"I was so nervous before the race and I never expected it like this," said Norgaard. "When I recently did a test my coach said it was not bad but not as good as last year. I'm really surprised about my very best cross country race."

Former four cross World Cup winner Anneke Beerten, racing her first cross country race, stopped directly at the start due to a mechanical problem.

Lindgren's mistake opens the door for Markt

In the men's race, five riders went together into the last of six laps. Emil Lindgren and Fabian Giger were racing for the same team and may have had an advantage in numbers, but surprisingly it was Austrian Markt who grabbed the win.

Lindgren and Giger rode a lot throughout the race in the wind to shrink the leading group through attrition. Finnish champion Jukka Vastaranta (Milka-Trek) was the last rider to be dropped from what ended up as a five-man group on the final lap.

On the first climb, Markt took the lead and pushed hard. Lindgren came to the front, and then Giger assumed the lead from his teammate. The efforts proved too fast for Frank Schotman, who dropped back to seventh place. It was also too fast for Periklis Ilias, who ended up in fourth position.

Giger fell off the pace of the leaders, letting Markt and Lindgren go. The pair made it to the top of the course together, but then Lindgren made a small mistake - he dropped his chain. That gave Markt the chance to get in the lead going into the next downhill.

Markt gained time from then onward and was pedalling furiously toward the finish, where he crossed the line in 1:45:39. Lindgren was 20 seconds back in second place and Giger was third at 47 seconds.

"My full suspension bike surely was an advantage today, but I didn't expect a win," said Markt. "Maybe top five but not the victory. My start was not that good but then I found a good rhythm. When I had the gap, I was riding hard but then was surprised that nobody was coming behind me. In the windy section my power was the decisive advantage."

Lindgren called it a "good day" despite his mistake. "Two Rabobank guys on the podium, that's good for the team. Today for everybody was like testing the legs. Next weekend, it's gonna be more important."

"Last year, I was 30th and this year I was third," said a jubilant Giger. "So that is much better. I feel well, and to be on the podium is cool. My form is good even though I still miss the feeling that comes from having been racing. I made a lot of mistakes."

The Cyprus Sunshine Cup will continue on Friday with the first stage of three-day Afxentia stage race.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Karl Markt (Aut) Felt Otztal X-Bionic1:49:35
2Emil Lindgren (Swe) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:00:20
3Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:00:47
4Periklis Ilias (Gre) Greek National Team - Protek0:01:18
5Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys-Evenza0:01:32
6Jiri Friedl (Cze) Rider Rubena Birell Specialized0:01:33
7Frank Schotman (Ned) MPL Specialized Mtb Team0:01:42
8Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Rider Rubena Birell Specialized0:01:52
9Alban Lakata (Aut) Ergon Topeak0:02:00
10Irjan Luttenberg (Ned) Dutch National Team0:02:02
11Matthias Wengelin (Swe) Swedish National Team0:02:12
12Oliver Beckingsale (GBr) Endura Mtb Racing0:02:31
13Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Versluys-Evenza0:02:38
14Henk Jaap Moorlag (Ned) Dutch National Team0:03:27
15Simon Scheiber (Aut) Felt Otztal X-Bionic0:03:35
16Tim Wynants (Bel) Milka-Trek0:03:42
17Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:03:43
18Jukka Vastaranta (Fin) Milka-Trek0:04:17
19Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Milka-Trek0:04:35
20Stefan Sahm (Ger) Team Bulls0:05:24
21Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek0:05:46
22Bas Peters (Ned) Meerida Combee0:06:01
23Maxim Gogolev (Rus)0:06:14
24Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Anchor0:06:34
25Martin Loo (Est)0:07:16
26Ivan Smirnov (Rus) Primorskiy District0:07:17
27Mattias Nilsson (Swe) Swedish National Team0:07:20
28Ivan Seledkov (Rus)0:07:55
29Tim Lemmers (Ned) Dutch National Team0:08:48
30Mikhail Baryshnikov (Rus) Primorskiy District0:08:51
31Fredrik Edin (Swe) Cykloteket0:09:11
32Erik Groen (Ned) Dutch National Team0:10:45
33Jonsson Olof (Swe) Swedish National Team0:10:53
34Henrique Avancini Da Silva (Bra) ISD Cycling Team0:11:08
35Lee Williams (GBr) Wiggle0:11:22
36Alexander Vincent Blomqvist (Swe) Alingsås Sportsclub0:11:29
37Nicolas Jeantet (Ita) ISD Cycling Team0:11:59
38Fagerli Ole-Christian (Nor)0:12:20
39Marek Konwa (Pol) Milka-Trek0:12:41
40Evgeny Nikolaev (Rus) Primorskiy District0:12:58
41Timofei Ivanov (Rus) Primorskiy District0:12:58
42Marios Athanasiades (Cyp) Omonoia0:13:20
43Anatoly Gravilov (Rus)0:13:25
44Sang Hoon Na (Kor) Team Bilco0:13:36
45Mykhaylo Batsutsa (Ukr)0:13:59
46Marco Minnaard (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:14:05
47Seyia Hirano (Jpn) Anchor0:14:06
48Magnus Darvell (Swe) Swedish National Team0:15:11
49Georgios Pattes - Toumanis (Gre) Greek National Team - Protek0:15:42
50Gluth Martin (Ger) Team Bulls0:15:49
51Antoniades Dimitrios (Gre) Greek National Team0:16:59
52Kazuhiro Yamamoto (Jpn) Canondale JPN0:17:54
-1lapChris Andrews (GBr) Orange Monkey/Cannondale
-1lapVictor Trokhin (Rus)
-1lapAnton Liubyi (Ukr)
-1lapVasilis Adamou (Cyp) Omonoia
-1lapMichalis Kitis (Cyp) Pol
-1lapJonas De Backer (Bel) Rocky Roads Orbea
-1lapPaul Beales (GBr) Orange Monkey/Cannondale
-2lapsAlexios Kokovikas (Gre) Greek National Team
-2lapsGiorgos Fattas (Cyp) Limassol Sporting Club
-2lapsDenis Khobotov (Rus)
-2lapsFabrice Mels (Bel) Rocky Roads Orbea
-2lapsIlya Dyshakov (Rus)
-3lapsSimon Stiebjahn (Ger) Team Bulls
-3lapsBen Roff (GBr) Orange Monkey/Cannondale
-3lapsTimotheos Skettos (Cyp) Sporting Club Lemesos
-3lapsRuslan Gritsan (Rus)
-3lapsPavel Pryadein (Rus)
-4lapsAleksey Leontyev (Rus)
-4lapsKiriakos Skettos (Cyp) Omonoia
-4lapsPantelis Christoforou (Cyp) Agios Mnason
-4lapsLoukas Theodorou (Cyp) Hraklitos
-4lapsZaher El Hage (Lib)
-4lapsSalah Rabah (Lib)
-4lapsSavvas Petrou (Cyp) Hraklitos
DNFAlexey Kuzmenko (Rus) Primorskiy District
DNFJelmer Jubbega (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team
DNFVladislavs Neroznaks (Lat) P.O.L
DNSThomas Dietsch (Fra) Team Bulls
DNSAggelos Kiriakou (Cyp) Agios Mnason

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annika Langvad (Den) Easton Rockets1:45:39
2Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Felt Otztal X-Bionic0:05:07
3Kristine Nørgaard (Den) HMTBK0:09:08
4Janka Stevkova (Svk) CK Epk Dohnany0:11:08
5Anne Terpstra (Ned) MPL Specialized MTB Team0:12:17
6Rie Katayama (Jpn) Specialezed JPN0:12:18
7Laura Turpijn (Ned) Dutch National Team0:12:55
8Tatjana Dold (Ger) Easton Rockets0:14:14
9Iana Belomoyna (Ukr)0:15:36
10Asa Erlandsson (Swe) Swedish National Team0:16:06
11Melanie Spath (Ger) Cycleways0:16:49
12Githa Michiels (Bel) Trek Kmc Trade Team0:17:22
-1lapKrista Park (USA) Cannondale/Notubes0:17:44
-1lapOxana Rybakova (Rus)
-1lapMaaris Meier (Est) Nissan Proshop Team
-1lapNicoletta De Jager (Ned) Rijwielpaleis Mountainbike Team
-2lapsMaria Osl  (Aut) Fischer-BMC
-2lapsElena Gogoleva (Rus)
-2lapsDosa Eszter (Hun) Vitalitas Se
-2lapsEkaterina Anoshina (Rus) Primorskiy District
-2lapsViktoriya Sultanova (Ukr) C.C. Roma
-2lapsMarta Terershchuk (Ukr)
-2lapsStephania Magri MTA19771009 Squadra Donne
-2lapsMichaela Malarikova (Svk) CK Suicmub Bratislava
-3lapsNatasha Barry (GBr) Progression Fitness
-4lapsJelena Petrova (Lat)
-4lapsEmmy Thelberg (Swe) Swedish National Team
DNFMichelle Hediger (Swi) Fischer-BMC
DNSAnneke Beerten (Ned) Milka-Trek
DNSDemetra Antoniou (Cyp)

Junior men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Boredskii Ruslan (Rus) Primorskiy District1:03:35
2Vladislav Bondaruk (Rus)0:01:05
3Dennis Wahlqvist (Swe)0:02:19
4Alex Baker (GBr) Orange Monkey/Cannondale0:03:18
5Loizou Christos (Cyp) Omonoia0:04:58
6Komin Egor (Rus) Primorskiy District0:05:01
7Ivan Podgornov (Rus)0:06:12
8Katsouris Leondios (Cyp)0:09:48
9Roman Balashov (Kaz) Kaz Olympic Trainig Center0:10:14
10Ilya Chaplygin (Kaz) Kaz Olympic Trainig Center0:12:01
11Mikhail Protonin (Rus)0:14:48
12Pavel Aidubayev (Kaz) Kaz Olympic Trainig Center0:16:00
13Sergey Kovalchuk (Kaz) Kaz Olympic Trainig Center0:16:13
14Papacharalambous Kiriakos (Cyp)0:17:53
15Kiriakou Mamas (Cyp) Agios Mnason0:25:49
-1lapAndreas Kangelaris (Cyp)
DNFKropachev Egor (Rus) Primorskiy District
DNFIrineos Koutsiou (Cyp) Hrakleitos
DQArtem Shevtsov (Ukr)

Junior women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Evgeniya Nekrasova (Rus)0:58:01
2Rimma Luchshenko (Kaz)0:06:02
3Marzhan Baitleuova (Kaz)0:18:40

Masters 1 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Feggaras Doros (Cyp) Omonoia0:55:06
2Ioannou Marios (Cyp) POL0:06:13

Masters 2 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mick Farley (GBr) Nireas1:05:34
2Antreou Basos (Cyp) Podilatiki Kipros0:06:11
3Vasilas Eystathios (Cyp) Podilatiki Kipros0:10:04
4Achilleos Sofoklis (Cyp) Spoko0:18:01
DNSDamalas Koulis (Cyp) Omonoia

Cadet boys
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Paltagian Dimos (Cyp) Pol0:51:40
2Xristodoulidis Markos (Cyp) Agios Mnason0:02:08
3Ilya Mateev (Rus)0:07:59
4Dimitriades Andreas (Cyp) Omonoia0:19:58
5Michailides Stelios (Cyp) Apollon0:28:22
6Mina Panayiotis (Cyp) Podilatiki Kipros0:33:13
7Kiriakos Andreaou (Cyp) Podilatiki Kipros0:35:16
-1lapAntoniou Andreas (Cyp) Pol
-1lapTheocharous Andys (Cyp) Pol
-1lapDimitriou Michalis (Cyp) Apollon
DNFPetrides Andreas (Cyp) Pol

Cadet girls
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katsikidou Antigoni (Cyp) Apollon0:53:11

U15 boys
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anton Maltsev (Rus)0:26:14
2Konstantin Trofimov (Rus)0:01:56
3Michael Xristodoulos (Cyp) Agios Mnason0:04:48
4Andreas Poullakos (Cyp) Hraklitos0:10:08
5Andreas Papastaurou (Cyp) P.O.L0:15:52
6Adamou Alexandros (Cyp) Omonoia0:15:53
DSQChristou Andreas (Cyp) Podilatiki Kipros
DSQPetrou Kiriakos (Cyp) Hraklitos

U15 girls
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christodoulou Anastasia (Cyp) Podilatiki Kipros0:48:49
2Zotti Eleni (Cyp) Podilatiki Kipros0:04:26
3Polidorou Elina (Cyp) Podilatiki Kipros0:09:50
4Karagiorgi Kiriaki (Cyp) Podilatiki Kipros0:15:25
DNFMarina Tumanova (Rus)
DNFRegina Skobelva (Rus)

Cycling for all - men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Spirou Marios D8cdb7297 Pod Kipros1:05:46
2Stavros Zorpas Da805cf590:05:26
3Marios Antoniou D25e4438c0:12:36

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